NORAD: North Korea appears to have orbited 'an object'

11:34 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
A South Korean man uses his smartphone to take a photo of a television screen reporting news about North Korea rocket launch, Seoul Railway Station, Seoul, South Korea
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The North American Aerospace Defense Command says North Korea appears to have launched "an object" into Earth orbit, but neither the missile used nor debris from the launch are a threat to North America.

NORAD officials said U.S. missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch at 7:49 p.m. EST Tuesday. The missile was tracked in a southerly direction.

NORAD said initial indications were that the first stage of the rocket fell into the Yellow Sea and that the second stage fell into the Philippine Sea.

Quoting a NORAD news release: "Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit. At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America."

NORAD is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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